Neighboring fires contribute smoke over the Bear Trap Fire

May 17, 2022 Daily Update

Acres: 15,215 acres            

Containment: 28%

Cause: Undetermined

Total Personnel: 629         

Start Date:  May 1, 2022

Location: San Mateo Mountains, Magdalena Ranger District, Socorro County, NM

Fuels: Pine, Pinyon-Juniper and Grass

Highlights: A weather system moved in from the west yesterday causing smoke from the nearby Black Fire on the Gila National Forest to combine with smoke from the Bear Trap Fire. Fire activity is now concentrated on the southern flank as it slowly advances to the southwest, fueled by dry conditions, high temperatures, and increasing winds. A daily operational briefing video explaining details of the Bear Trap Fire operations can be viewed on the Cibola National Forest Facebook page.

Operations: Firefighters continue to evaluate fire behavior on all sides, although activity is highest on the southern edge. Ahead of the main fire, crews are constructing control lines with a combination of hand tools and heavy equipment. Once control lines are constructed, firefighters are strategically applying fire inside these lines to consume vegetation between the lines and the edge of the fire. Fire progress has stopped at the northern perimeter as it reached the boundaries of previous wildfires. Despite high winds, fire activity was low to the east as tall ridges helped to block the winds and shelter the fire. On the south side, fire continued to spread slowly with lower intensity as it moved against the wind. Firefighters have completed dozer lines along Indian Spring Ridge to connect with the rock cliffs that serve as a natural barrier to fire. To the southwest, crews are using both hand and aerial ignition to help reduce fire intensity as the main fire approaches established control lines.

Weather: Winds helped push smoke from the Black Fire out of the area late yesterday. Weather conditions are expected to stay consistent today through Thursday. Temperatures will be 5-7 degrees higher than normal during the day with milder temperatures at night. Afternoons will be breezy and dry conditions will remain.

Closures: The Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands (NF & NGs) have issued a fire area closure, road and trails closure to protect public health and safety during fire operations on the Bear Trap Fire. The full closure order (No. 03-0726) and map are available at

Restrictions: Based on high fire danger and severe fire weather conditions, the Cibola NF & NGs implemented Stage 2 Fire Restrictions on the mountain districts, including the Magdalena Ranger District. The full order (No. 03-0724) and map are available at

Safety: The health and safety of firefighters and the public are always the first priority. Members of the public should stay away from Bear Trap Fire operations. A temporary flight restriction (TFR) is in place over the area, which includes unmanned aircraft, or drones. More information on the dangers drones pose to wildland firefighting aircraft and personnel on the ground can be found at

Smoke: Smoke from the Bear Trap Fire and other nearby fires may be visible in the areas of Alamo, Datil, Magdalena, Socorro, Winston, and San Antonio, NM. Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory problems or heart disease are encouraged to take precautionary measures. Information on air quality and protecting your health can be found at the New Mexico Department of Health Environmental Public Health Tracking website: An interactive smoke map at allows you to zoom into your area to see the latest smoke conditions.

Fire updates are posted on InciWeb, Cibola NF & NGs website, Facebook and Twitter pages, the NM Fire Information website.

Email:  Phone: (928) 362-2906 Office Hours: 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM

Bear Trap Fire Progression map, May, 17, 2022
Bear Trap Fire Map, Tuesday, May 17

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